How feeds have changed the way we interact with email

When it comes to communication, email remains the undisputed champion of the business world. Today’s employees spend more than 6 hours a day sending and receiving an average of 123 emails.

But the rise of social media has introduced a relatively new player in the communication arena: the feed. Instead of delivering messages to your inbox, where they passively await your attention, the feed sends a real-time stream of personalized updates to your device—and it’s changing not only the way we access information at work, but also the way we interact with older communication tools like email.

On the consumer side social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have pioneered the use of the news feed to keep people connected and help them find content they’re interested in. Now the enterprise has started to find ways to incorporate the feed, where it helps reduce some of the burden of email while delivering information in a more streamlined way. For younger employees entering the workplace, the feed is as familiar and comfortable as email is to older generations. Understanding the way email, chat, and feeds work together can help us create workflows and business processes that work for us instead of against us.

Email: The good, the bad and the overloaded

There’s a reason email has become so integral to business communication. When it first caught on, it was the closest thing to real-time communication the digital world had to offer, allowing professionals to connect across time zones and geographic boundaries.

Although it wasn’t perfect, email got a lot of things right. For example, it:

  • Made transmitting and receiving information faster and easier.
  • Offered a low-cost way to communicate, both internally and externally.
  • Created a virtual paper trail and searchable record.

It’s hard to imagine work (or life) without email. We’ve come to rely so heavily on it that we use it for almost all of our work interactions—including those best suited to other modes of communication. One business writer describes email as “little meetings you get sucked into throughout the day”.

After more than two decades at the top of the food chain, email has become unwieldy. Employee inboxes have spiraled out of control, and just one in every three emails they receive is actually important—the rest are insignificant. Even worse, email overload has become a productivity drain in many companies as employees switch between windows an average of 37 times an hour, each interruption costing your company valuable dollars in lost productivity.

Enter the employee workfeed

Email isn’t the fastest, easiest, or most convenient choice anymore. Social media has changed the way we send and receive information, and there’s no going back. With a social media feed, users get the information they want pushed directly to them in real time, without having to go looking for it.

Now businesses are catching on to the power of the feed, and they’re using it to relieve some of the burden from their employees’ inboxes. Feeds deliver alerts to users via push notification on their device, eliminating the need to constantly visit their inbox for the latest information. Instead, employees can focus on their work knowing they’ll get a notification if something important comes up. Feeds also tailor content according to user needs so employees don’t have to wade through a lot of unnecessary information to get to the important stuff, which is why apps with features like a personalized feed can boost productivity by more than 45 percent. They can also help boost employee satisfaction and engagement by easing the email overload that has become a major pain point in most organizations.

How do employees interact with Sapho’s feed? Here’s some of the ways we see our customers using our workfeed:

  • Complete tasks wherever they are without having to log into additional systems
  • Receive important tasks and information from multiple enterprise systems in one place
  • Receive personalized updates about data anomalies, system updates, and metric shifts right when it’s needed
  • Get the latest employee news, policy changes, and general office information

Will the feed replace email? Not anytime soon. They each have their strengths, and they each work best in certain situations. Email continues to shine when it comes to longer and more detailed communications, while feeds make it easier for employees to view quick project updates and requests without clogging up anyone’s inbox. For now, communication and collaboration work best when employees use both email and a workfeed together.

Topic: Digital workplace

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